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Eastwoodhill welcomes new curator

The radiant colours of autumn greeted Eastwoodhill Arboretum’s new curator Martin Weaver when he started his new job on Monday.

Mr Weaver is an Englishman so it is fitting he is now in charge of New Zealand’s national arboretum, which grows the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees in the Southern Hemisphere.

He commutes to Eastwoodhill in Ngatapa from Gisborne, where he has put down firm roots with his family — wife Lindsay, son Arthur and chocolate labrador Ted.

Growing up in Gloucestershire, England, Mr Weaver said he felt connected to trees and woodlands from a young age.

After studying woodland management, and conservation and wildlife habitat management at Hartpury College in England, Mr Weaver started his career with Torbay Council (Devon) as an arboricultural technician. He developed an extensive knowledge of the mass tree database, tree safety inspection and management techniques. This was expanded on during his time as arboricultural officer for Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council.

The Weavers moved to New Zealand in 2013. He worked for Auckland Council as arboriculture and landscape adviser for the Northern Sector of Parks, covering the area between Devonport and Orewa.

In 2017 the Weavers shifted to Gisborne.

Mrs Weaver worked for the Gisborne District Council (GDC) and Mr Weaver began his favourite career choice of “daddy daycare” for Arthur.

After eight months, he got the job of cemeteries team leader at the council until he saw the position of curator at Eastwoodhill become available.

With his passion for trees and his experience, it was a dream opportunity.

The arboretum’s plant collection specialist Dan Taylor will move into Douglas Cook’s Homestead, which is on Eastwoodhill grounds and where the curator usually lives, to look after the Homestead Garden of 1.5 hectares over winter.

DREAM JOB: Martin Weaver, the new curator at Eastwoodhill Arboretum, is pictured with Eastwoodhill manager Marion Nicholas with the splendour of autumn behind them. Picture by Liam Clayton